As we mentioned, it's a busy day for us today. For starters, we're out messing up the joint at The Reading Experience, bringing a touch of lowbrow to Dan's classy digs. We take turns weighing in on Lily Tuck's NBA winning The News from Paraguay. Dan is, per usual, thoughtful and seeks to place it in the wider context of historical fiction:
Other ostensibly historical fiction, such as Robert Coover's The Public Burning or Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow aren't really concerned with reproducing history but rather with interrogating it, forcing it to testify, so to speak, to the veracity of accepted representations of it, to the hidden truths behind these representations that have been hidden so well their revelation seems as surprising as any unexpected plot twist in a skillfully told tale. For these writers, "history" becomes just more material for the novelist's imagination to transform, at times simply offering itself up as the inspiration to the novelist's own powers of invention.
Whereas we (who are not nearly so smart) content ourselves with being snarky:
The narrative beats that comprise The News From Paraguay more or less conform to the romantic archetype. Beautiful woman down on her luck catches the eye of powerful man. Abandoning the comforts of the known, an arduous journey is undertaken. Headstrong heroine arrives intact in foreign land, is established in comfort by her lover, provides offspring. Withstands the slings and arrows of jealous backbiters and schemers, pines for home, is susceptible to the advances of lovers. Enemies begin to coalesce and collaborate. The center cannot hold, things begin to fall apart and inner reserves of pluck are summoned. In the end, tragedy envelopes all. There's even a pair of fat, evil sisters. Can a glass slipper be far behind?
Although we do continue on to ask a few larger questions about the NBA. If you want the details, you'll have to go to Dan's place.
In case that's not enough of us to completely bore you, we'll also be a guest on Killradio.org's program Pinky's Paperhaus this afternoon at 4:30, where we can be relied upon to do at least three of the following:
1) Gratuitously pimp our friends.
2) Reveal just how uncool our musical tastes are.
3) Read a few excerpts from books that have caught our eye.
4) Generally embarrass ourselves and say foolish things.
Well, number four's a given. We'll see on the rest. Hope you'll tune in and support anti-corporate radio. (You have to love any station that asks "Is Bush the antichrist" on its home page.)